The Bunting Festival has launched in Armley with free make-your-own bunting kits and activities.
Once the flags have been created and collected, the festival team will be stitching the flags together to create strings of bunting to hang around the streets of Armley this December.
Created by community arts organisation We Belong Here, The Bunting Festival is collaborating with local creative organisations, social enterprises, independent businesses and local shops, to help get the make-your-own bunting kits – which include paints, templates, and other art materials – to the people who need them.
Natasha Joseph is a multi-media artist and curator who lives and works in Armley and is the creative director and producer of The Bunting Festival.
“Art has always been a safe and freeing way for people to process our thoughts and feelings, and to make sense of the world going on around us,” she explained. “As we find ourselves dealing with new emotions, and responding to new living conditions and restrictions, we wanted to create something that people can contribute to in a simple and easy way, and to feel part of their local community.
“Bunting is associated with celebration and street parties, so we came up with the idea of The Bunting Festival as a reminder that we can all support each other and come together in a different way.”
People can request their free kits, as well as tips and video content to help with their bunting creations, at The Bunting Festival website – thebuntingfestival.com – and then collect from a number of local shops and outlets across Armley including the Armley Post Office, NISA Local and No Problem Convenience Store, to name a few. Details of partners, outlets and how to volunteer to be a street ambassador, are also on the website.
Natasha added: “The idea for The Bunting Festival came about in the first lockdown in the Spring as we wanted to produce something that could bring us together in a creative and safe way. As well as reminding us of the importance of community and connections, this second lockdown has also meant a quick rethink as we needed to find locations for people to collect the kits from places – such as local shops – that could remain open.
“The team at We Belong Here and The Bunting Festival, together with support from our partners, has worked together to keep things on track, changing as the world changes around us, and in the safest way possible.”
The Bunting Festival is produced in association with Assembly House, Seagulls Paint, Graft Collaborative, Armley Helping Hands, Bramley Community Centre and is funded by Interplay Theatre and Leeds Inspired with Leeds City Council.
Lottie Sadd, the project manager for the festival said “We’re looking forward to supporting people – online or safely distanced – over the next few weeks as they make their creations, and then bringing the bunting together in the streets of Armley. We are all connected and The Bunting Festival is a great way to remind us of that.”
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